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NERC penalizes, fines AEDC N300m for infractions

By Joseph Inokotong, Abuja

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has imposed N500 million penalty on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for various infractions.

The NERC said the failure by AEDC to comply with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act resulted to 12 electricity related accidents within the AEDC network between 2018 and 2019, one of which killed a four-year-old boy in Abuja.

The aforementioned negligence necessitated NERC to order the electricity distribution company to pay N300 million in sanctions.

However, N250 million will go to NERC as fine for several infractions committed by the distribution company, while the remaining N50 million is for the deceased boy’s family.

An order uploaded on the regulator’s website and jointly signed by its Chairman, James Momoh and Commissioner Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, the NERC said it expects that AEDC would by May 20 pay the N250 million sanction to the commission and pay the compensation to the young boy’s family.

The NERC said that “Section 63 (1) and (2) of EPSRA imposes an obligation on the holder of an electricity distribution licence to comply with the terms of issuance of the licence, regulations, codes and other requirements issued by the Commission.

“Condition 18 (1) of the distribution licence imposes an obligation on AEDC to take all reasonable steps to protect persons and property from injury and damage that may be caused by the licensee when carrying out the licensed business.

“Condition 38 (8) of the distribution licence imposes an obligation on AEDC to ensure that the distribution system is maintained in accordance with standards in the NERC Distribution Code for the Distribution Sector of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (“Distribution Code”) to ensure quality, safety and reliability of the electricity system.”

AEDC while confirming receiving an order from the NERC said its legal team is studying the document.

AEDC Spokesman, Oyebode Gboyega on Wednesday in Abuja, said “we confirm the receipt of the NERC order No. NERC/GL/169 wherein the commission ordered AEDC to pay N300 million. We are studying the document for a full understanding of the content.”